Thursday, April 19, 2007

Can we have our boats back please?

There is some gallows humour to be had from Monday's questions about the HMS Cornwall incident in the Lords:
Lord Corbett of Castle Vale: My Lords, can the Minister confirm that the value of the boats now illegally held by the Iranians is upwards of £1 million? Can he be more specific about exactly what pressures are being put on that vile regime to return that property to us?

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I can confirm that the total amount involved in the 2004 incident and the incident that took place recently is approximately that quoted by my noble friend. We will continue to put full pressure on the Iranian Government on this and other matters relating to their international commitments. We do that through multilateral efforts. I believe that the rapid progress we made in securing the release of our 15 personnel shows that those multilateral efforts have an effect.

Lord Roberts of Conwy: My Lords, has there been any response from the Iranian Government to our approaches for the return of this equipment?

Lord Drayson: My Lords, there have been responses, but they have not been satisfactory. The equipment has not been returned.

Lord Waddington: My Lords, is it usual for naval personnel to carry iPods when actively engaged as members of a boarding party?

Lord Drayson: No, my Lords, it is not.

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